DIY Solar Energy Projects – Plan These High Return-on-Investment Money-Makers First
DIY solar energy projects range from the simple to the difficult. So which ones should you pursue? It makes sense to take on those tasks that have the highest “savings to cost” ratio and are simple to implement. Getting started on these types of projects returns the quickest cash back to your pocket, and takes the least amount of labor and upfront investment.
The very first move you should take is simple, it starts with picking up the phone, and gets you in the saving mindset. It may not always involve DIY solar energy projects, but shows an instant impact to your monthly bills. Calling an Energy Auditor is one of the easiest move you can ever make to put some money back into your pocket every month. Energy conservation reduces pollution and helps to transform you from an energy-wasting eco-enemy to an eco-friendly home solar warrior.
Some tips an energy conservation specialist will give you concern your windows. Simply adding window coverings and interior blinds can save immediate money, and also have an immediate impact on your environment. On a side note, you get to spruce up your place visually.
Specially designed Solar Screens are very adept at reflecting the sun's rays back away from your rooms. And they also provide ultraviolet protection. These are available at your local hardware store, and come in ready-made frames and doors, or can be purchased inexpensively by the roll for those DIY solar energy projects. Use them on windows with a southern exposure for the quickest, largest bang for your buck.
Heading outside, a solar fountain is something you may not have immediately thought of as a solar do-it-yourself venture. However, these provide a nice opening move, and you can get as complex or simple as you like to match any skill level. These soothing water movers attract wildlife, are enjoyable audibly and visually, and help you enhance your property's curb appeal.
While you are outside, take a look around. Simply planting trees and large shrubs may not sound like DIY solar energy projects, but in a couple of years, they can provide great solar protection, again add to the visual appeal of your home, and help you save on cooling costs.
Solar battery chargers and attic fans are dead simple to use, cost very little money, and help the environment and your pocketbook. There are no more disposable batteries filling up landfills if you use rechargeable batteries, and circulating that hot air out of your attic has a literally instant positive impact on your cooling costs, and wallet. These two DIY solar energy projects have very high return-on-investment numbers.
Intertie systems can be very expensive, but when started off slowly and built upon, provide free power continuously. These DIY solar energy projects can also receive local and federal tax incentives and credits, so they are doubly attractive financially. What you are doing is creating energy through an inter-tied grid. You produce your own power through solar collectors, and use it to power the products in your home. By connecting to the local power grid, you can actually sell excess energy to the local power companies, who are legally obligated to buy it.
Solar hot water heaters can cost from $1,000 to $2,000 to set up, but begin to pay you back immediately. In tiered rate structures you pay more per killowatt hour the more energy you use. Since you can trim your total energy costs by up to 35% simply by installing a solar water heater, this is one of the most profitable DIY solar energy projects you will ever undertake.
And the oldest solar technology ever, using skylights, is a feel-good, bright energy enhancement that your cats will love! Tubular websites can be a potentially big money-maker for you, and enlisting the advice of a solar contractor as far as placement will pay off big time. Solar tube lighting systems collect light from the sun's rays on your roof and funnels it through reflective tubes to any spot you desire, and spreads the light through a diffuser. You can provide more than enough light to work with, and this system generates a lot less heat than incandescent lights.
Staying in the lighting motif, employing solar lights is one of the lower-cost / quick return-on-investment DIY solar energy projects you will ever launch. The easiest lights are literally wireless with a small solar collector on top that you simply stick into the ground. You can even add exterior solar lights to increase your power bill impact.
A few thoughts to keep in mind will help lower your frustration levels, while speeding up your savings. Buy all-in-one kits when you can. Sometimes, building your own devices can actually cost more, and kits have already been field-tested and proven to work. And when employing a contractor, go with the one who is using kits as opposed to one who piece-meals his projects when they are similar in their bids.
And in all cases except the simplest, get a bid estimate for the job. When planning DIY solar energy projects, you may find it better on your back and wallet to let a pro handle the task, and you get a warranty as well.